Marathi Mandal Sacramento

मराठी पाऊल पडते पुढे


Member database was swelling, and it was just the occasion to go for the big one Diwali Function 2005! With Ajit Natu's initiative, and Vikrant Sawant's set-up of our web site for the sign-ups ad volunteering, things quickly began to fall in place. Harish Jain procured and managed the facility. It was decided to have a potluck to encourage inter-personal relationships. Amazingly about 30 families brought food in a well-concerted manner, thanks to Shubhangi Kelekar. There was Chaklya, Chiwda, Barfi etc - all available in different hues and tastes! Coordinated by Smita Kulkarni, the clubhouse was lighted-up and decorated with traditional diyas in unique arrangements, and the 100-plus dressed-up members were welcomed with Attardani by the couple Vishram and Prajakta. Huge kandils, home-built by Atul Kelekar, were hoisted up at the front door. The enthusiastic Amita Khare coordinated the cultural entertainment program. Our Master of Ceremonies was the inimitable Upendra Kulkarni who regaled us all with his wit and charm. Hiratai Kulkarni, our renowned vocalist, helped present a couple of Ganapati and Marathi songs accompanied by tabla (the stylish Rahul Palnitkar) and harmonium. The Donde father-daughter duo, along with our young adults, presented an interesting orchestra composition. Rasika Acharya and her troupe showcased a Garba dance, while Rajesh Acharya led an inspiring group song. The audience was in splits over a funny English skit presented by children (directed by Amita Khare), and also by the ad-hoc jokes presented by Dr Kamle and others. Raffles were drawn, and prizes given away, with the luckiest one, Atul, getting away with a valued gas card. Everyone joined in to the toe-tapping beats of the group song "Aamhi Marathi, Aamhi American", with the lyrics having been distributed to the audience earlier. Finally, after a delicious dinner, the ladies wanted to dance the Dandiya, and they went all-out! With so many of us participating (and toiling), the program really came up as an unexpected and huge collective success. We thank everyone for making this possible in so short a time. This enthusiasm and energy is contagious and bodes well for the future of our Mandal.